Credit Card Processing Blog

The Best Practices in Payment Innovation

July 25, 2016 12:00 PM / by Reliance Star

Payment processing is a core activity for any business, enabling a company to accept money from its customers in exchange for goods or services. As such, it is crucial that a business stays abreast of current changes and innovations in the industry to continue providing their customers with the best service possible and to stay ahead of the competition. Read on for everything you need to know about some of the latest innovations in this area and why your business needs to incorporate them.

EMV Chips

Most major credit and debit cards now include an EMV chip, a microchip embedded in the card that is designed to offer the unmatched security of customers’ financial information. Having EMV chips makes it significantly more difficult for counterfeiters to create fraudulent credit cards using stolen financial data, making these cards much safer for people to use.

If your business has not already purchased the equipment necessary to process these cards, it should be at the top of your priority list. With the ever-growing threats of credit card fraud and data hacks, customers are becoming increasingly wary of using their cards in ways that might expose them to the risk of identity theft.

Going forward, businesses who do not offer EMV chip card payment processing may see a drop in their customer base, as their customers turn to their competitors who do offer this added level of security. Although EMV chip readers do require a significant investment upfront, it will be well worth it for the security of your customers’ financial details.

PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council issues a Data Security Standard (DSS) for all businesses that accept credit cards. PCI compliance means accepting Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB credit cards using best practices designed to protect consumers from credit card fraud. The security standards set forth in the DSS represent the minimum requirements businesses must abide by to ensure that they are protecting their customers’ data.

Businesses can stay in PCI compliance by maintaining a secure workplace network, encrypting cardholder data, managing system vulnerabilities, implementing strong internal access control measures, regularly monitoring network security, and employing company-wide security standards. The DSS requirements are constantly updated, so it is important that your business pay attention to remain aware of any changes to the security standards.

Subscription-Based Billing

Customers are growing increasingly fond of subscription services that enable them to purchase items like groceries, pet food, and even alcohol on a recurring schedule. Subscription billing can be applied to services as well, like video streaming, housekeeping, and financial services. Rather than making a payment each month, customers enjoy the convenience of having their payments deducted from their accounts automatically.

If your business offers a subscription option, it is important to have secure measures for processing these payments and storing customers’ financial data. In many cases, it makes sense to outsource the handling of subscription payment processing to an organization that specializes in this area, rather than attempting to navigate this tricky platform on your own. This frees you up to handle the more important day-to-day tasks of running your business.

The best practices outlined here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to payment processing. Try to read as much as possible on the topic and keep up with current events in the industry to help your business stay ahead of your competitors and to protect your customers.